§ 73. Mr. D. G. SOMERVILLE
asked the Minister of Health whether, with regard to the list of prices of materials issued by the Building Materials Prices Committee, he can state the quotations, respectively, for Fletton and stock bricks per 1,000; whether he is aware that since the issue of those figures prices have risen materially, notably in the cost of Fletton bricks, by as much as 9s. per 1,000, and that there is a serious shortage of these bricks in the South of England; and what steps he proposes to take, in view of the need for achieving success with his housing programme, to deal with the matter?
The question of brick prices is engaging the attention of the Committee on Building Materials Prices, who will report further on this subject at an early date. The last published price for Fletton and best and second-hand stock bricks, delivered in London was £2 13s. 3d., and £4 2s. and £3 17s. per 1,000. From the published market rates it does not appear that any increase in the price of Fletton bricks, delivered to King's Cross, has been recorded for some considerable time. It is known that there is a great demand for Fletton bricks in the South of England, and that the manufacturers are making great efforts to meet it.
§ Mr. SOMERVILLE
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that there are no stocks of Fletton bricks in the South of England, and that makers are holding up supplies so that they may charge very much increased prices?
§ Mr. J. JONES
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware of the fact that within the next few days bricks are going up by 5s. per 1,000, though wages are going down by 3s. a week?
I have not the intimate knowledge of the intentions of manufacturers which appears to be possessed by the hon. Gentleman.
§ Mr. A. V. ALEXANDER
Has not the output of bricks increased enormously during the last four months, and is not that a reason for asking manufacturers to decrease their prices?
I believe that it is a fact the output has increased very much, and no doubt that will be taken into account by the Committee.